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Visions of the Dharma: Buddhist Art from the Berea College Art Collection

Exhibition run: February 25 – May 3, 2019

Gathered together over the course of several decades through the generosity of many donors, the Berea College Art Collection includes numerous objects associated with Buddhism. The works of art in this exhibition showcase significant aspects of Buddhist visual culture from cultures throughout Asia. Organized into four thematic categories, it explores varieties of Buddhist iconography, the material culture of Buddhist text, fascinating ritual objects, and ways in which Buddhist imagery appears outside its traditional contexts. The exhibition demonstrates the rich diversity of the Berea College Art Collection and the opportunity it provides for interaction with works of art from around the world.

The fourteen Berea students in The Arts of Buddhism course this semester selected and then conducted research on the objects included in the exhibition. For the majority of these students, working on this exhibition has been their first experience researching and writing about art for a public audience. In addition to considering how best to communicate information about their individual object, they also worked in small groups to bring together the exhibition’s four thematic sections.

– Ashley Elston

(Instructor; AST/ARH 249: The Arts of Buddhism)


Image: Amitabha Buddha, Gilt bronze, 20th c., 10″ x 6 1/4″ Berea College Art Collection